Yesterday, the Michigan Senate passed SB 584 and SB 586, dangerous bills that together would force Michigan elementary, middle and high schools to allow people – including teachers, staff, and visitors – to carry hidden, loaded handguns on their premises.
Governor Synder vetoed similar legislation in 2012 and today stated, “I haven’t really changed my position. I’m always open to talking about topics and I always look at bills as they come to my desk. But again, I don’t see any real change from where we were.”
In his 2012 veto of similar legislation, Governor Snyder wrote “the bill did not allow public schools, public day care centers, or public hospitals to prohibit persons from carrying concealed weapons on their premises…I believe it is important that these public institutions have clear legal authority to ban weapons from their premises.”
SB 584 would also allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns into college classrooms and dormitories, sports arenas, bars and other sensitive locations throughout the state.
Yesterday’s votes came just three days after 26 people were shot and killed and at least 20 more were injured in a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Just last week, the Detroit News quoted Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof as saying it was an “awkward time,” in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, to discuss pending proposals that would weaken state gun laws. “It seems like every time we get at a place where we can move some of these things, some sort of incident happens that gives people pause, so we’re gonna pause,” Meekhof said.
Over the past two weeks, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action have driven more than 8,000 calls and emails from Michiganders to Senators urging their opposition to these dangerous bills. Nearly 100 volunteers with the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action have been in the State Capitol over the past two days, testifying in the Senate Government Operations Committee and observing today’s vote.
More information on the proposed legislation, which now moves to the Michigan House of Representatives, is available here. The Senate also passed SB 366, a bill that would allow 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public, even though that age group commits gun homicides at a rate over four times higher than adults 21 and older.